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SoulMonster

2013.03.28 - Interview with Richard in Australian Guitar

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2013.03.28 - Interview with Richard in Australian Guitar

Post by Soulmonster on Wed May 08, 2013 6:05 pm

Richard – first of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to Australian Guitar Magazine. Are you enjoying yourself here? Is this your first time in Australia?
I’ve toured Australia a few times before. Once with the Psychedelic Furs, once with Rihanna and Chris Brown and twice with Gn’R. I love playing in Australia. Great crowds and it feels more like the US than any other country in the world.

We have a bit of a rep for being, perhaps, a bit of a cynical race here, How have you found G’n’R’s reception on this tour?
Somehow, the cynicism of your race escaped me! Every time we’ve been here, the crowds have been very warm and welcoming and have a great energy. What’s particularly outstanding about the Australian crowds on this run, has been the large demographic that I have been noticing in attendance. It’s been really inspiring to see how many generations are so enthusiastically participating in the Gn’R concert experience.

I believe you have no less than three lead guitar players on this tour. How do you work out who plays what? Is there a bit of tension between you guys, or is it a pretty democratic outfit?
I think we are pretty democratic for the most part. There’s never been an argument over who’s going to do what. Everyone looks at the bigger picture and realizes each of our particular strengths. As far as the older material, we each have our roles that have been passed down from those that came before, but nothing is ever in stone. We spend a lot of time orchestrating the guitar parts to try and create a broader and more dynamic aural landscape.

I saw you playing with The Dead Daisies at The Metro last Friday evening – first off, you looked like you were having a lot of fun, second, you sounded great! Can you share with our readers what your view was, and, what was your set up was that evening?
Playing with the Dead Daisies is a total blast for me. I get to play with some great players and play some great songs. For my money, there is not a better drummer on the planet than Charley Drayton. Every time I play with that guy, I walk away a better musician. For the Daisies, I wanted to go for a very classic type of tone. It’s a very similar set up to the rig I used last year when I was touring with Thin Lizzy. I’m using a ’68 50 watt Marshall PA head that was modded by Obeid Khan. It’s my favorite plexi that I own. The 1st channel is a stock plexi tone. The 2nd is like jumping the treble and bass inputs, but the bass is not flubby or squishy. It’s nice and tight and fat. It was the inspiration for the 1st channel of my Voodoo Signature head (R4-100), that I use in my main Gn’R rig. The 3rd channel of the head dumps in to the 4th and uses the extra preamp tube for a more saturated sound. It’s an incredibly fast and aggressive tone. I am using a Bonamassa wah into a Klon Klone that a buddy made for me (changed a couple of things that I didn’t like about my Klon), into a Strymon El Capistan. I’m playing a James Trussart Steel O Matic (strat) for most of the set. It’s a guitar that James built for me with a reversed headstock and the bridge pickup is angled backwards (like a left-handed guitar). The pickups are copies of my favorite sounding Strat that I own (a ’60 slab board). It’s an amazing sounding guitar. It’s very different for me, as I haven’t played a strat live in about 15 years.

How would you characterise the difference between what you do in The Dead Daisies to your role in G’n’R?
I honestly don’t know how to characterize it. It’s a totally different band, different players, different songs, different gear, etc.. However, It’s still me interpreting the songs.

Okay, I might as well ask some uncomfortable questions….. Axl….. Undoubtedly one of the best frontmen to come along in the last twenty years, he has a reputation for being a bit “difficult”… So Richard – is it true, or is Axl just a big pussycat?
I’ve never had any difficulties with Axl. He’s far from a pussycat, but even further from what his reputation belies. I’ll tell you one thing, he has more musical integrity than any singer I have ever worked with. He also is a true musician. He is constantly listening and participating in the musical conversation. He’s not just waiting for his turn to sing his parts, he’s listening and then helps direct the conversation. It’s a pleasure to play with him. It can be an incredibly intense experience. I’ve never stood next to anyone on stage that is that intense. He is definitely excorcising demons at times!

Stepping into the shoes of an iconic rock guitar player could potentially be a role like tip toeing through a minefield. How have you found G’n’R’s audiences response to what is basically a whole new band?
Well, I’ve been playing with this “whole new band”, for the last 12 years! It’s exactly what you’d expect. Some fans are very supportive and side with the new band and others see us as hired guns that are blaspheming scabs. I’m very happy playing with the band and love all the players. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to play with such a creative group of talented musicians. We all have a lot of respect for the past members.

Do you see yourself as, y’know, a collector of instruments, or are they simply tools to make your day to day playing life easier?
I absolutely fall in to the “collector of instruments”, group! I love guitars. I like to paint with a very broad palette. I find it very inspirational to play with different tones and find that they bring out very different aspects of my musical personality. I have a pretty expansive collection of vintage amps, guitars and pedals.

I bought a Prescription Electronics “Experience” pedal – now I use it as often as I can – is there some piece of gear that just “persists”, that you rely on, and always have for some odd reason? If so – what is it, and why has it ended up as a cornerstone of your rig?
There is a lot of irony here. I have been using my original Experience pedal since around ’93. I absolutely love it and it’s probably been my most used pedal on record. In my current Gn’R rig, the longest lasting piece of gear is probably my Eternity overdrive by Love Pedal. I’m constantly searching for new pieces of gear to inspire me and I’m constantly chasing the elusive “perfect guitar tone”.

Richard – thanks for your time with us! Enjoy your stay in Australia – we are not as bad as our reputation makes us out to be!
If indeed your reputation was as bad as you think it is, there wouldn’t be such an incredible glut of bands currently touring this continent! Thanks for speaking with me. Hope to see you next month when I’m back playing with the Dead Daisies, supporting Aerosmith.
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Re: 2013.03.28 - Interview with Richard in Australian Guitar

Post by Soulmonster on Wed May 08, 2013 6:06 pm

Thanks, puddledumpling, for finding this interview Geek
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Re: 2013.03.28 - Interview with Richard in Australian Guitar

Post by puddledumpling on Mon May 13, 2013 10:56 am

thank the GN'R in the News widget

I am finding that and GN'R Twitters to be fabulous resources for browsing and for getting communications from artists=>fans and back again. Heart
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